When Words Hurt

I was picking up my daughter from the nursery at church. The worker seemed annoyed, so I asked if everything went alright. She started by telling me briefly about her job, but I can’t remember what she said because for a moment I was so confused by her words. But then came the rest of her explanation –

If you spent less time trying to teach her to read at 3, and more time disciplining her then she wouldn’t be so difficult to handle.

I was crushed.

What she didn’t know is that I wasn’t trying to teach my daughter to read at all. She just was picking up books and watching Sesame Street. Didn’t know that I was exhausted because it seemed all I did was discipline and direct this little ball of energy. She didn’t know that I was struggling with how to train her to listen to me, when all this little one wanted to to was talk and move and ask questions. so many questions. This tired nursery worker just assumed something, based on the 40 minutes she spent with my precocious toddler and judged my parenting.

So how do you respond to such a statement?

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The Proverbs 31 Woman – The Original Pinterest Mom

We’ve all seen it. We get on Pinterest and see photos of these amazing supermoms and their perfect crafts, school projects, and perfect meals with all prepared with a smile. Plus it all coordinates and her house in the background of every photo is spotless. Even her laundry room is cute! How in the world are we – normal, every day, clinging to Jesus and a cup of coffee moms – supposed to compete with that?! So then we go to the Bible and find the Proverbs 31 woman. Hello! She’s the original Pinterest mom! Seemingly perfect and untouchable.

Proverbs 31intro

 

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We do not need to say anything

And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit,  so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.  For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.  For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 1:6-10 (emphasis mine)

May it be so, Lord. May the people around me see my faith and not just hear my words.

Why I’m Going Back to the Real Thing

I really like my cell phone. It’s small, convenient and I can do everything I have to do on it. But something I’ve recently been convicted about is using my phone for reading the Bible. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using a cell phone to read the Bible. There are some great apps out there, with preloaded reading plans and devotionals. I love them. But there are a couple of reasons that I’m trying to go back to the real thing and using my Bible.

bible* My Bible holds memories. Underlined verses. Scribbled thoughts in the margins. Folded notes hidden in the pages. Not only does a Bible turn into a memoir of my Christian walk, but it’s something my daughters can pick up and learn from as well. They can see what verses were important to me and how I took sermon notes. It’s worn and comfortable. Sitting in prayer meetings or with a small group, I can turn through the pages and see those verses or notes. Once and awhile, God will speak to the situation at hand through those notes or highlights. You can’t flip through an app with the same familiarity and comfort.

* My Bible doesn’t have apps or internet or notifications. As a mom, I have plenty of distractions. Kids arguing, dog barking, appointments, bills, school to teach or kids to get to school – I don’t need my short amount of quiet time with the Lord interrupted by my own lack of self control or a text message. I’ve already deleted the Facebook app off my phone because the notifications were too much of a distraction for me. While I do check social media accounts on Safari, that’s my choice. Notifications have always fetl like an intrusion to me. So reading a real Bible = less distractions.

* My Bible is unmistakeable. When I’m reading my Bible on my phone, my daughters may not know what I’m doing. Not that I owe them an explanation for my every move, but I do want to be a good example of a Christian that was always trying to get closer to God. Not just a mom, but a person that had her own relationship with Jesus. Seeing me on my phone doesn’t really communicate that to them. But seeing me with that very special book on my lap? Totally clear.

So I’m putting aside my phone in the morning and grabbing my Bible. IMG_2207No flashy graphics or detailed reading plans. Just the Word of God. The Vine’s Expository Reference Bible I bought for myself not long after I became a Christian now has blue paint smears on the cover and worn edges. But it is comfort and peace and a collection of benchmark moments in my Christian walk. When I hold it in my hand, I’m reminded of days past when I had all the time in the world to study and read the Bible. Even if I just get a slim window of quiet in the morning, I feel like I hear God so much more clearly from these pages even though an endless supply of Bible apps say all the same words.There is just something about reading from the thin pages of a worn Bible and I’m so thankful for the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit that brought me back to it.

Anyone want to join me in committing to reading from a Bible instead of an app?